August 29, 2014
To my ISOC Colleagues,
I am writing as I fly to Istanbul with much anticipation for a week of important work. I understand that more than 3000 people have registered for the IGF. This past year, as a diverse Internet community, we have given much thought and energy on how to best “govern” ourselves. In Istanbul, we will have an opportunity, with our colleagues from around the world, to, once again, demonstrate the power of collective collaboration and action. As we know, collaboration is essential to ensure the future of the Internet. If decisions related to the Internet and its future are not in the hands of the many, they will only be in the hands of the few. I will post some further thoughts this weekend on IGF before the panels, workshops, lunches and dinners begin.
I wanted, however, to take a few moments before we land to report back on my observations of the WEF event yesterday.
I applaud the leadership of the World Economic Forum for highlighting and recognizing the enormity of the effect of the Internet on the global economy and the benefits and challenges inherent in its adoption in much of the world. It is, of course, entirely legitimate that it seeks to understand and participate in the debate on internet governance. When given the opportunity to comment during the morning session, I urged that its thinking about governance include as its central tenet the continuing investment, innovation and access to the Internet to and for everyone, particularly for those who do not yet have access and for the “unborn innovator”.
Many of us in and around the Internet Society–on Staff, on the Board, in our organizational members and Chapters, in the IETF and the IAB have been deeply committed and involved in working with our extended communities to address the threats to the Internet as well as to develop, manage and deploy the ever-evolving technology of the Internet throughout the world. We revel in inventing the future. Together, we have adopted a bottom up culture and method of decision making around numerous, local and global, technical, social and legal issues that arise in the decentralized, distributed ecosystem which is the Internet.
We were delighted with the cooperative spirit in Brazil at Net Mundial as well as our collective ability to reach rough consensus on the principles that should govern our governing. Olaf Kolkman, ISOC’s new CITO, enthusiastically said, lets tack these principles on the door and, for all who are ready to embrace them, come on in.
Many of us are busy implementing features of the NetMundial roadmap. ISOC has developed toolkits for spam and IXPs; our regional offices hold INETs throughout the world to demonstrate and teach technical skills; our Leadership program creates and administers online courses and sponsors leadership seminars, ambassadorships and internships; we take active leadership in policy development for governance issues; and our staff has worked tirelessly to introduce best practices workshops to the IGF, while our Chapters have actively supported Regional and National IGFs around the Globe. The Internet Society is a party to the NTIA Transition Coordinating Committee. Our representatives and Chapters are intimately involved in the ICANN accountability dialogue. We believe that we are well along the Internet Governance journey.
We welcome any and all people and groups of good will to work with us and the broader Internet Community in a multi-stakeholder effort to deepen and broaden this effort. We certainly invite WEF to get acquainted with our collective work that is serious and ongoing. I heard some intention to do that.
I was disturbed, however, as others have expressed, with the opaque way the meeting came about; about what seemed to be established agendas; talk of some new single entity and top down models that purport to represent organic community processes that could be hobbled by definitions and artificial role expectations.
I frankly do not know enough to know whether my concerns are justified. I look forward to hearing more from WEF, and perhaps, from the ICANN leadership, this week, about the initiative. I hope, too, that the folks at WEF who are coming to the IGF soak up the energy, creativity, work and sweat of the community that will gather this week. A constructive dialogue and the collaborative spirit of NetMundial may just cause us to join forces for the good of the Internet and the good of the world.
So, on to Istanbul. We have work to do.
April 22, 2014
[From Internet Society CEO/President Kathy Brown]
This week, the world’s eyes will turn to Brazil, host of the NETmundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. This meeting is an important opportunity to continue discussions on key Internet governance principles and a roadmap for future action.
We are in the midst of a very busy global policy dialogue on Internet governance and, as the discussion grows, it is more important than ever to be clear about what is meant by the phrase “Internet governance.” This is a discussion that has its origins in the 2003-2005 UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and that has, in the years since, evolved as dynamically as the Internet itself. This year is a particularly busy one for those of us who are focused on these issues – an inflection point that could shape the future of the Internet and its governance.
As we look forward to NETmundial, it is important that we consider the broader context: Internet governance is not about the role of any one stakeholder group (governments, technical organizations, private enterprise, civil society, etc.) but is rather about how we all work together to tackle the challenges that emerge in the context of the Internet. Whether the issues are related to ensuring the robustness and resiliency of Internet security and privacy, advancing the deployment and development of core Internet infrastructure, or any number of other concrete challenges, we need to come together to address issues in ways that do not undermine the fundamental design principles of the Internet. Too much focus on static definitions of the roles and responsibilities of any one stakeholder group could distract our attention from achieving the overall balance that is needed for any successful governance system.
April 2, 2014
Internet Society President and CEO Kathy Brown issued the following statement on March 31 2014.:
We are deeply concerned with recent reports that the Turkish government is mandating curtailed access to key social media sites for millions of users across Turkey. Recent actions to implement the Turkish government’s requirement include the redirection of network routes so that Turkish citizens are not getting the correct information from the Domain Name System (DNS). They are instead being redirected to other web sites controlled by Turkish service providers. In addition to undermining core technical functions of the Internet’s architecture, such actions also threaten users’ fundamental human right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas across frontiers.
Interfering with a country’s routing of Internet traffic not only harms citizens’ ability to communicate and innovate as part of the global Internet platform; it can also lead to a fragmentation of the network at the regional and global levels. Ultimately, the Turkish people and nation are the ones that will suffer, as their voices will be lost across the net.
The Internet Society believes that the Internet is a global medium that fuels economic and social development, empowers users with limitless access to knowledge, and supports aspirations for freedom. Bob Hinden, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees, added, “We strongly urge the Turkish Government to stop requiring the blocking of access to social media sites and to allow full Internet access to all Turkish citizens immediately. We believe that the opportunity to participate in the global information society should never be taken away from individuals.”The Internet Society hopes that nations around the world will come to understand that blocking citizens’ access to the tools of online communication only serves to fuel discord and is not the way to address the underlying concerns of their citizens. Such measures can only undermine citizens’ trust in their government’s ability to provide an enabling Internet environment for economic and social progress.
March 15, 2014
On Friday March 14 2014 the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it had invited ICANN to make a multistakeholder-derived proposal to take over responsibility for the “IANA functions“, i.e. management of the Internet’s root zone, when the current contract ends in 2015. In response Internet technical organizations, including the Internet Society, issued the following statement:
Internet Technical Leaders Welcome IANA Globalization Progress
The leaders of the Internet technical organizations responsible for coordination of the Internet infrastructure (IETF, IAB, RIRs, ccTLD ROs, ICANN, ISOC, and W3C), welcome the US Government’s announcement of the suggested changes related to the IANA functions contract.
The roles on policy development processes of the Internet technical organizations and ICANN’s role as administrator of the IANA functions, remain unchanged
The transition of the US Government stewardship has been envisaged since the early days of IANA functions contract. This transition is now feasible due to the maturity of the Internet technical organizations involved in performing their respective roles related to the IANA functions, and ICANN will facilitate a global, multi-stakeholder process to plan for the transition.
The strength and stability of the IANA functions within the above organizations (which make up the Internet technical community) are critical to the operation of the Internet. The processes around the IANA functions have always been carefully specified in the communities that our organizations represent. The IANA functions are faithfully administered by ICANN. We are committed to continuing our proven, community-driven processes as we engage in this transition. Our communities are already considering proposals to progress the transition.
Our organizations are committed to open and transparent multi-stakeholder processes. We are also committed to further strengthening our processes and agreements related to the IANA functions, and to building on the existing organizations and their roles. The Internet technical community is strong enough to continue its role, while assuming the stewardship function as it transitions from the US Government.
January 14, 2014
The Internet Society released the following statement from Bob Hinden, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees:
“Today, the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals in the United States issued a major decision with regards to the Federal Communication Commission’s Open Internet rules.
The Internet Society has consistently argued that the core principles of transparency, freedom of choice, and unimpeded access to content and applications should be at the heart of any policy action with respect to network neutrality.
Notwithstanding the Court’s ruling today, these principles that have allowed the Internet to grow, scale, and connect people and ideas around the world remain valid. Anything less would jeopardize the continued success and availability of the Internet as a tool for open communication and economic growth.
The Internet Society urges parties in the United States to keep a sharp focus on the need to create an environment that allows users to remain in control of their Internet experience, thus empowering them to participate in the open Internet.”
August 5, 2013
Internet Society Press Release
Internet Society Board of Trustees Calls on the Global Internet Community to Stand Together to Support Open Internet Access, Freedom, and Privacy
Fundamental ideals of the Internet are under threat
[Berlin, Germany, 4 August 2013] – The Internet Society Board of Trustees during its meeting in Berlin, Germany today called on the global Internet community to stand together in support of open Internet access, freedom, and privacy. Recently exposed information about government Internet surveillance programs is a wake-up call for Internet users everywhere – the fundamental ideals of the Internet are under threat.
The Internet Society Board of Trustees believes that government Internet surveillance programs create unacceptable risks for the future of a global, interoperable, and open Internet. Robert Hinden, Chair of the Board of Trustees, stated, “Berlin is a city where freedom triumphed over tyranny. Human and technological progress are not based on building walls, and we are confident that the human ideals of communication and creativity will always route around these kinds of attempts to constrain them. We are especially disappointed that the very governments that have traditionally supported a more balanced role in Internet governance are consciously and deliberately hosting massive Internet surveillance programs.”
June 6, 2013
The Internet Society today announced funding for 11 community-based Internet projects that will enhance the Internet ecosystem in underserved communities around the world. The Community Grants are awarded twice each year to Internet Society Chapters and Members. Recipients receive up to US$10,000 to implement their projects.
The 11 projects funded in this round of grants will:
•Enable teachers and students in the Sultanate of Oman to produce and share video presentations that meet Omani curriculum standards and students’ needs
•Facilitate access to the Internet via a wireless mesh network for students, parents, and others in rural Panama, enabling them to use their own equipment at home
•Provide research for an evidence-based ICT policy to help bridge the Internet divide in Ethiopia
•Develop online resources to help Internet Society chapters effectively create and implement cost-effective video streaming to its membership and the wider community
•Create a digital community of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Kenya to serve as a virtual mentorship program
•Support the Koh Sirae School in Thailand by enhancing their wireless network, updating the learning center and classrooms with laptops and workstations, and providing furniture for 1,000 children and 53 teachers
•Empower and connect the women of Chuuk State in the Pacific Islands by establishing an Internet-connected computer lab at the Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC) building and offering classes in ICT usage
•Promote child online safety in Uganda by educating children, teachers and parents at three urban schools; developing a user guide; and advocating for sound policies that ensure Internet safety
•Build a collaborative, independent, and transparent observatory that quantitatively assesses the Internet quality in Lebanon to help providers enhance their services and the Lebanese government accelerate the transition to broadband Internet
•Jump start the establishment of an Internet of Things (IoT) community-operated space in the University of the Philippines, where people with shared interests in computers, technology, science, digital art, or electronic art can meet and collaborate
•Initiate a movement that will encourage and facilitate university students majoring in ICT subjects to contribute their knowledge, skills, and time to teach ICT courses at Indonesia’s rural high schools
April 30, 2013
The Internet Society is soliciting nominations of qualified candidates for the 2013 Jonathan B. Postel Service Award by 31 May. This annual award is presented to an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. The award, which includes a presentation crystal and a USD 20,000 prize, is scheduled to be presented during the 87th Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting in Berlin, Germany, 28 July – 2 August.
Deadline for nominations is 31 May, 2013.
Award Nomination Procedures
February 14, 2013
[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland – 14 February 2013] – Internet Society President and Chief Executive Officer Lynn St. Amour today announced that she will leave the Internet Society in February 2014 at the conclusion of her contract. St. Amour joined the Internet Society in 1998 as Executive Director of its Europe, Middle East, and Africa division. She became Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer in 1999 and was appointed President and CEO in March of 2001.
January 2, 2013
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It has been an exciting year! Thanks to our Members, Chapters, Board, Staff and partners – past and present – we commemorated twenty (20) years of fruitful collaboration and advocacy in support of an “Internet for everyone.” The anniversary was marked by numerous celebrations, and a Global INET in Geneva, Switzerland, where we also launched the Internet Hall of Fame.
In 2012, with your help, we took on many of the most important issues facing the Internet – all across the globe. We had an impact on many critical policy decisions; we promoted and supported vital technical standards, launched valuable new programs, welcomed many new members, and hosted a broad global array of policy, education, and development programs.
We continued to advocate tirelessly for the Internet’s growth and open evolution, and we promoted multi-stakeholder dialogue and action on many matters related to the Internet. A recent example was the U.N. World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, where ISOC staff and members played a critical role. This was a collaborative, multi-stakeholder effort across the global Internet community, and it is clear that going forward, the challenges confronting the Internet will need even greater collaboration and multi-stakeholder support.
As we leave 2012 and look forward to 2013, I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks for all you do to advance the Internet and for all you do to support our wonderful Mission. The Internet is a critical enabler of human empowerment, social development, and economic growth, and it enhances our quality of life. We look forward to working with all of you to build on the significant momentum achieved to-date; clearly there are many areas that will need our attention and support over the coming year.
Finally, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the Board and Staff at the Public Interest Registry (PIR); your support is central to our success and very much appreciated. I would also like to recognize the important work of and our valuable partnership with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), who are at the heart of what makes the Internet – the Internet.
Thank you all for everything you do to support the Internet and the Internet Society. Please accept my very best wishes to you and your loved ones for the coming New Year.
Lynn St. Amour
President & CEO, Internet Society
December 20, 2012
[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland] – Building on the historic foundation it established earlier this year, the Internet Hall of Fame will once again help make history in 2013 when it honors individuals who have been important to the Internet’s open development and growth. The Internet Society today announced that nominations for the second annual awards will open on January 11, and the 2013 inductees will be announced and honored at a ceremony held June 26, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey.
This year’s Internet Hall of Fame will continue the important tradition of celebrating Internet visionaries, innovators, and leaders from around the world who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the open, global Internet.
November 30, 2012
On behalf of Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO, and the Internet Society Board of Trustees:
Emerging reports from various organizations and individuals indicate that international Internet connectivity was shut off in Syria today. The Internet is an open, global medium for communication, idea exchange, empowerment, and innovation. Access to the global Internet is a crucial enabler of human rights.
As with previous actions to block Internet traffic in Egypt and Libya, the effect of cutting off Internet traffic – ceasing the flow of information in and out of the country – is a serious action. It harms not only the citizens of Syria, but also Syria’s economy and society at large. The Internet Society stands with other organizations around the world in calling for Internet access to be restored with all due speed and cooperation so that vital services can continue to function and citizens won’t be further impacted.
First and foremost, the Internet Society joins with the rest of the world in its utmost concern about the safety and security of the Syrian people. Previous cases where such actions were deliberately taken have proven not only to be harmful, but to be ineffective. The Internet Society hopes that the volatile situation in Syria will come to a peaceful solution and that the citizens of Syria will soon be able to join the rest of the world in having their voices heard online.
October 14, 2012
There will be two Internet Society meetings in conjunction with ICANN45 in Toronto. All members are welcome to participate, either in person or online. Online participation comprises of a webex conference (with an alternative phone bridge), plus an additional live text transcription and video webcast. Toronto is on the same time as NYC.
What: ISOC in ICANN meeting
Where: The Westin Harbour Castle Toronto Hotel
When: Sunday October 14 2012 7.30pm EDT | 2330 UTC
Telephone: 408-600-3600 (US) | elsewhere – Code: 927 376 857
Twitter: #icann45 | #isoc | @internetsociety
What: ISOC Chapters and Members meeting
Where: The Westin Harbour Castle Toronto Hotel
When: Tuesday October 16 2012 7.30pm EDT | 2330 UTC
Telephone: 408-600-3600 (US) | elsewhere – Code: 922 701 747
Twitter: #icann45 | #isoc | @internetsociety
June 28, 2012
[Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland -- 28 June 2012] — Internet Society President and Chief Executive Officer, Lynn St. Amour, authored a chapter for The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2012 titled “The Internet: An Unprecedented and Unparalleled Platform for Innovation and Change.” The Internet has become integral to business, communication, education, and community building, as well as an essential tool in social life, empowering individuals and communities in ways previously unimagined. These linkages create unparalleled opportunity by facilitating and encouraging creativity and collaboration. This chapter explores how the evolution of the open, global Internet inspires technological, societal, and knowledge innovation.
June 18, 2012
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Invitation to Applicants: Internet Society Ambassadors to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
The Internet Society is pleased to invite applications for the 2012 Internet Society Ambassadors to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
As part of the Internet Society’s Next Generation Leaders (NGL) programme, the Ambassadorships to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) are available to Internet Society members between the ages of 20 and 40.The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multi-stakeholder forum for policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance. It brings together government, private sector, and civil society stakeholders, including the technical and academic community, on an equal basis and through an open and inclusive process. The IGF facilitates a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise.
About the 2012 Ambassadors to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
In 2012, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will focus on Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development. Participants will explore key topics such as Cybersecurity, Online Child Protection, Intellectual Property, Copyright, Managing Critical Internet Resources, Access & Diversity and numerous others. The Forum will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from the 6-9 November 2012.
Ambassadors to the IGF may be involved in various activities at the Forum, including contributions to the IGF Ambassadors’ blog, participating broadly in the IGF meeting agenda and assisting with staffing of the Internet Society booth at the venue. Details of these opportunities will be confirmed in advance of the Forum.For more information, please visit: